EUROMIL’s President, Emmanuel Jacob, participated in the first European memorial that was organized to honor memory of soldiers killed or wounded in NATO operations. The event took place in Fréthun of Pas-de-Calais Department in France, on 25 February 2012.
This project was possible thanks to a private initiative of two associations, European Association of Army Members and Public Security and Defence Bodies (L’AECOPSD) and National Circle of Former French Military Personnel Stationed in Germany (CNAMFSA). In the times of more and more wars in the world, increasingly undermining peace, NATO missions are even more crucial, even if the Alliance’s representatives have become “war targets”.
Currently, only regarding the NATO operation in Afghanistan, for some quotas of 28 Member States and 21 Associated Countries, deaths of over 2 300 soldiers, including 76 French, were confirmed. Also, on a daily basis, lots of soldiers get wounded. The AECOPSD and CNAMFSA, two associations representing European troops, decided to erect a monument (the very first in Europe) to honor the memory of their colleagues killed or wounded in NATO operations.
This memorial had three objectives:
– To honor the memory of soldiers killed or wounded in an operation under the NATO flag;
– To raise awareness about the duty to remember those who suffered;
– To maintain the need of the recollection in the framework of a better international cooperation.
The reason why this memorial took place in northern France was that it is situated at the crossroads of Europe and at the crossroads of the majority of the NATO European founding Members.
Around 300 persons took part in the ceremony. Among them, military attachés from Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Germany, Canada, delegations from the Netherlands and the UK, as well as several French associations and regional politicians. Also families’ representatives of French and Dutch soldiers that died were present.
Please click here to see the pictures from the Memorial.